Snap's talks with the Federal Trade Commission are part of a larger probe into Facebook's business tactics, in which the FTC has made contact with dozens of tech executives and app developers.Facebook's stock slipped 0.1% in premarket trading while Snap shares fell 0.7%.
Facebook has taken aim at Australia's competition watchdog for recommending "dangerous" privacy changes and wrongly conflating the social media giant with search engine Google as part of its world-first inquiry into the tech companies.
Gen. Letitia James is leading a bipartisan coalition of states looking into whether Facebook “stifled competition and put users at risk” by increasing the price of advertising, reducing consumer-choice quality and mishandling personal information, according to a statement Friday.
"I’m launching an investigation into Facebook to determine whether their actions endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising," New York attorney general Letitia James said this morning.
(Bloomberg) -- Antitrust officials are right to look back at Facebook Inc.’s acquisition of Instagram to determine whether the deal harmed competition, Colorado’s attorney general said, adding to calls for renewed scrutiny of the takeover of the photo-sharing site.
The proposed law basically seeks to deter anticompetitive and monopolistic behavior by charging great gobs of money against the companies that get caught doing it.And in that same week, Facebook said it was the target of an FTC antitrust investigation, separate from the FTC's probes into its privacy practices.
Now similar concerns are being raised by the giants that deal in data, the oil of the digital era. Far from gouging consumers, many of their services are free (users pay, in effect, by handing over yet more data).
But focusing on pricing alone doesn't help when regulators look at companies like Facebook or Google, because the financial cost to the individual user is $0.
Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is leading the investigation, said in a statement on Wednesday that she would be taking a "very close look" at Amazon's "dual role." "The Commission will focus on whether and how the use of accumulated marketplace seller data by Amazon as a retailer affects competition," it added.
“We propose to consider whether consumers have the knowledge, skills and desire to control how data about them is collected and used by the online platforms, and how far they are able to exercise such choice,” the CMA said.
The company admitted in April that human employees listened to a "small sample" of Alexa audio recordings to transcribe and annotate to help improve the software, one of the several reports that led Coons to issue his request for information to Amazon.
Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Google, is sworn in during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018.As the biggest U.S. technology companies face increasing scrutiny from regulators related to privacy practices and market control, they're spending a lot more money to try and influence lawmakers.
This lack of competition is the root of privacy issues for tech companies, experts said, and why several lawmakers have called for a breakup of Facebook.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren , the Massachusetts Democrat who is running for president in 2020, has celebrated the Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes' call to break up Facebook two months after she rolled out her own plan to break up the largest US tech companies, including Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
Some app-makers claimed Apple had removed their products from the App Store after Screen Time was launched, and said it was trying to limit competition. However, in a blog post, Apple said it had taken action against apps that were using "risky" Mobile Device Management (MDM) to control children's smartphones.
She said Google was being punished for "illegal practices in search advertising brokering to cement its dominant market position." She added: "They shouldn't do that — it denied consumers choice, innovative products, and fair prices." Specifically, Vestager's team concluded that third-party websites — such as newspapers and travel sites — that used Google to power their search and advertising features had "restrictive clauses in contracts" preventing them from hosting ads from rival search engines, according to a press release .
The Massachusetts senator is calling for legislation that would designate the companies as “platform utilities” and the appointment of regulators who would unwind technology mergers that undermine competition and harm innovation and small businesses.
“To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies.” The proposal notes that major companies have tightened their grip on the digital market through mergers, but regulators have largely let those deals pass.
The Proof is in the Pudding At the core of Zuckerberg’s announcement is Facebook’s plan to merge its three messaging platforms: Facebook’s Messenger, Instagram’s Direct, and WhatsApp. The announcement promises security and privacy features across the board, including end-to-end encryption, ephemerality, reduced data retention, and a commitment to not store data in countries with poor human rights records.
A “Security Level 1” cipher that has a breakthrough that allows a sqrt speedup on analysis suddenly only has 64 or less “bits of strength”, which is very breakable.
The basic argument of the Bundeskartellamt is that Facebook abused its dominant position to force users to agree to their personal data being collected and combined with similar information gathered elsewhere.
But Facebook says that tracking people makes the services safer and better, and that the FCO misses how much the company has done in order to comply with the General Data Protection regulation passed by the European Union in 2018.
Image source Today the German Antitrust authority (Bunderskartellamt), whose job it is to keep companies’ power in check, found that Facebook abused its dominance of the social network market to track and collect users’ personal data in ways users do not know about.
The order applies to data collected by Facebook-owned platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram, but also third-party sources that Facebook uses to flesh out its advertising profiles, including those of non-users.
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's competition authority said on Monday it had launched an investigation into whether internet search engine Google broke competition law with algorithms it uses for searches and to target advertisements. ADVERTISEMENT Calls by Reuters to Google Reklamcilik ve Pazarlama, Alphabet's local unit, were not answered on Monday.
In the case of marketplaces, both the sellers and buyers can own the platform so that the sales channel, Amazon in our example, does not make major decisions that only benefit it.
Net Neutrality and the Tyranny of the ISPs Part II — DOMESTIC Around the world, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are exploiting a lack of competition to price gouge consumers, facilitate government surveillance and create profound inequality of internet access.
For decades the standard for evaluating whether to break up monopolies, or block the mergers that create them, has been “consumer welfare.” And this consumer welfare standard has predominantly been interpreted as low prices.